Four Referee Mistakes That Sank Real Madrid's Champions League Dreams

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Four Referee Mistakes That Sank Real Madrid's Champions League Dreams
David Ramos/Getty Images

Tuesday night's second leg of the Champions League Semifinals saw Barcelona defeat arch-rivals Real Madrid on an aggregate scoreline of 3-1. The two Spanish giants drew 1-1 at the Camp Nou, however La Blaugrana held a vital 2-0 lead heading into the match.

The draw marked the end of an unprecedented four El Clasicos in an 18-day period. Los Merengues and La Blaugrana battled in La Liga, the Copa del Rey Final, as well as the two-legged Champions League Semifinals.

La Blaugrana progressed through to the final at Wembley, with hopes of securing another Champions League trophy.

Although Barcelona emerged victorious in this well-fought semifinal clash, both legs were marred by controversy and conspiracy claims.

Los Merengues left Barcelona feeling disappointed and once again frustrated by the referees. At the Santiago Bernabeu, as well as the Camp Nou, Madrid found themselves on the wrong side of some controversial and decisive decisions.

First, it must be said that Barcelona is the most attractive side in world football. La Blaugrana have excelled under Pep Guardiola, developing their passing football into magical attacking play.

The star-studded side have used their possession-based approach to both entertain millions and win trophies.

With some of the greatest players on planet Earth, Barcelona have emerged as one of the greatest teams of this generation. Their beautiful style of play has earned respect around the world.

While La Blaugrana have reached the pinnacle of world football, their past two years in the Champions League have featured great controversy.

The denial of Chelsea penalty claims in their Treble winning 2009 season, as well as Thiago Motta's red card in last year's semifinals, are key decisions that have gone in favor of Barcelona.

The questionable calls take nothing away from La Blaugrana's fantastic football, however it has been a recurrent theme in recent European campaigns.

Real Madrid's exit from the Champions League has once again created a cloud of controversy around referees.

This slideshow organizes the referee decisions that ended Madrid's Champions League dreams from least to most significance. While the semifinal encounter between the Spanish giants is the main focus of controversy, one decision occurred in this year's Round of 16.

It was always going to be a struggle for Madrid to defeat one of the greatest teams in recent history over two legs, but with big calls going against them, it seemed a Herculean task.

Without the controversial calls, there is no guarantee that Los Blancos would have progressed to the final at Wembley. However these decisions ensured that it would be an uphill battle, one that Mourinho, Ronaldo, and Co. dubbed "Mission Impossible."

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